We’re committed to being the UK’s most sustainable grocer.
Ocad0 Waste is Ocado Retail’s commitment to sustainability. We’re committed to meeting the needs of customers without compromising quality of life for future generations.
We do this by focusing on four core areas: food waste, carbon impact, packaging waste, and responsible impact.
Read on to find out how we’re actively being a greener grocer.
We believe food belongs in bellies, not in bins. We’ve made reducing food waste our mission since ocado.com was founded in 2001. We have extremely low food waste with just 0.04% (that’s 1 in 2,600) products being sent to be converted into energy. But we can do better…
Here’s a snapshot of how we’re working towards this goal:
Continually striving to be slicker, leaner, and less wasteful has the added benefit of reducing our carbon impact. As our business grows, so does our efficiency.
We’re part of the steering group shaping the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Climate Roadmap to develop a ground-breaking decarbonisation plan.
We’ve committed to working with fellow retailers, our suppliers, the UK Government and other stakeholders to accelerate the retail industry’s progress towards a Net Zero UK, ahead of the Government’s 2050 target. We’re also committed to helping our customers on their journeys to Net Zero.
After a successful trial at our Park Royal hub, we plan to roll out a fleet of 17 electric vehicles by the end of 2020. We’ll also be increasing our electric vehicle fleet further in 2021.
We’re planning for 1 in 3 of our LGVs to be gas powered by the end of 2020, and will ramp up that number in 2021. We’ve been able to make this happen by investing in and building our own natural gas station next to our Hatfield CFC.
We’re looking at using hybrid vehicles for more remote areas. Running cleaner, more efficient vehicles is the right thing to do, and we are excited about how advances in technology will enable us to go greener much faster.
We’re currently trialling vans at our Oxford hub with solar panelled roofs to see if we can further reduce the carbon impact of our vehicles.
During the life of our vans, parts will frequently require replacement – these are suitable for reuse, both in our own fleet and supporting the wider green parts market for Mercedes Sprinters (the model of our fleet).
Using these second-life parts saves money and minimises landfill waste. It also decreases demand for new parts – therefore reducing manufacturing and supply chain emissions.
When our vans reach the end of the road, we work with our recycling partners to remove and reuse as many internal and external parts as possible.
We know how important the environment is to our customers because it’s just as important to us. So we’ve changed how we do certain things to help us move forward in an eco-friendly way.
We launched our Eco Shop in July 2020 to enable customers to find more environmentally-friendly options without having to search our entire website. We understand that having these options is important to our customers and we’re extremely proud of the large range of eco-friendly products we can offer.
We’ve eliminated all polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polystyrene and black plastics from our own-label range, but we have more to do. We frequently review our own-label range and make continual improvements to its recyclability and recyclable content.
We’re founding members of the UK Plastics Pact and have committed to reaching the pact’s 2025 targets.
We pride ourselves on our supply chain’s efficiency and streamlining and have applied this to the packaging used throughout the life cycle of many products.
We have a programme to get as many suppliers as possible using reusable trays produced by IFCO instead of single-use cardboard or plastic wrap. Currently, we have around 139 suppliers using these trays and plan to convert more.
Like our customers, we’re acutely aware of the concerns around using carrier bags in our deliveries. We have a separate page where we share more about why we feel continuing to use bags at the moment is the right thing to do at this point in time.
Any money not utilised from this scheme to buy back bags will be donated to Trees for Cities – the only UK charity working to improve lives by planting trees in cities.
We recognise our position in the retail industry gives us a unique opportunity to ensure the impact we have on people, the welfare of animals and the environment is positive and sustainable in the long-term.
Our aim is to be the most inclusive UK retailer, so that every colleague feels like they truly belong at Ocado Retail and can wholeheartedly bring their best selves to work.
As of 30th July 2020, our team is 15% Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues (we don’t love the catch-all acronym BAME, but recognise that it is well-understood) – 4% Black, and 11% from Asian or ethnic minority backgrounds, which mirrors the UK population. And our leadership team is 15% BAME, including our Māori CEO.
The Ocado Retail careers’ website outlines our Inclusion & Diversity action plan.
We’ve partnered with The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) since 2016, donating £100k per annum towards sustainability and recycling education projects. We have hope that recycling will become the everyday norm with the next generation.
Since 2014, we’ve been proudly supporting a network of food partners and social enterprises working towards ending food poverty in the UK. We supply them with donations of groceries, money and vans – our 2020 overview gives fantastic insight into how impactful these contributions are.
We enable our staff to play their part by giving them an additional day of annual leave to work with our food partners or social enterprises.
Once upon a time, we were a startup – that’s why we’re proud to champion small grocery and retail suppliers and support them on their growth journeys. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been supporting many of our small suppliers who, more than ever, need financial support and changed terms of payment to be immediate.
We continue to lend a helping hand by supporting and funding the initial logistics to get small suppliers’ products into our CFCs. We continue to do this until they’re big enough to go it alone.
We’re very conscious of the part we play in ensuring we offer our customers a wide range of healthy and inexpensive products. As a commitment to the wellbeing of our customers, we always try to have at least 400 fruit and vegetable ranges on special every single month.
With over 50,000 products – far more than you’ll find in your average supermarket – we’re focused on giving our customers choice. While we’re not here to tell customers what to eat, we use technology, range and price to help them make informed decisions when doing their weekly shop. Our vegan and vegetarian ranges are now full with over 3,000 choices.
We believe there is a need to improve the information available on public health. We will be reviewing and inputting into the government inquiries and consultations as the Obesity Strategy plan unfolds
We’ve supported Veg Power’s Eat Them to Defeat Them campaign for two years and plan to continue doing so. The campaign is on a mission to inspire young children with veggie-loving habits they’ll keep for life and share with their children. The landmark campaign originally launched in January 2019 as a collaboration between ITV and Veg Power, with dedicated funding from a number of supermarkets, including us. In 2019, it proved hugely successful, with over 650,000 children eating more vegetables and 18 million more units of vegetables sold – enough for an extra portion of vegetables on every dinner table in the UK for each week of the campaign.
Animal welfare is an important part of responsible retailing, and we work closely with our suppliers to continually improve our standards.
We follow the Five Freedoms of animal welfare:
Alongside the Freedoms, we also ensure humane treatment by adhering to the following principles when sourcing the Ocado Own-Label range:
We respect the environment in the production of our Own-Label range and follow these guidelines:
We aim to use the most sustainable raw materials, and will continue to work with our suppliers to reduce our environmental impact.